Co-existence reflects the state from Stage 1 of the transformation onwards, where our heritage systems and the new service platform (START) needed to work together to allow Inland Revenue to operate and deliver services to customers as usual.
Running the old and new systems in parallel, was among the most complex challenges we faced on the programme. We needed to take an innovative approach, so partnered with management consultants Accenture, to access a global network of the critical coding resources required to make changes to our old, heritage systems.
A ‘co-existence solution’ was designed, built and tested ahead of Stage 1. This solution was then adjusted for every release as one-by-one products and master data were migrated to our new system.
The co-existence solution was an undoubted success as all our systems kept running through multiple releases, and the approach we took minimised the impacts of co-existence on customers and stakeholders as far as possible.
A co-existence management strategy was also required for the development of a replacement website - www.ird.govt.nz. Several options were considered and the creation of a beta site which worked concurrently with our heritage site was the preferred solution. This worked well, particularly as it allowed us to test new and re-written content with first our people and then customers before we took down the old site.